We survive the night without any demonic activity from the creepy candle lit church. The candle is out by morning.
We get an extremely early start for our hike. We don’t have time to summit so we’re just doing a 2 hour climb instead, before getting on our way back to Athens.
The weather is perfect under the shade of the trees along the trail. I think this is the first time I’ve been a comfortable temperature since I’ve been in Greece.
We’re the only people on the mountain for the whole hike! Getting up this early, and it being a Monday, made for the perfect combination. We don’t see another human until the very end of our walk, where we stop at a little waterfall for a dip. The water is FREEZING, but so so clear. Refreshing, but like doing a cold plunge.
We spend an hour, first below the falls, and then at an even bigger and more beautiful falls behind it. We have to literally climb up over the small waterfall to reach it and I’m afraid I’ll never get back down but somehow we do.
Some Greek families come for a swim as well, and it’s good that we decided to explore further because Joseba had been swimming “en pellotas” (literally translates to “in balls” or just, naked) before deciding to climb over the waterfall. We hadn’t seen another person all morning so he assumed it was safe. Nah.
We get back to the car to dry off and hit town for some food and a phone recharging. The little restaurant where we stop is probably the most precious place of all time. Small, family run, and very excited about having foreign customers, this might be one of the best restaurants I’ve been to here! We’re given giant portions and some extra things like tzatziki and dessert on the house. The owner picks me a fresh stalk of basil leaves while singing and dancing around the restaurant, watering his flowers. I’m never leaving, this is my home now. Come visit!
Joseba is our designated driver, but when he starts talking about his need for a RedBull an hour into our five hour drive, I offer to take us home. I LOVE driving, especially manual cars, but never have the occasion because I live in big cities. In Canada almost everything is automatic, so even when I do get to drive it’s not the fun kind. It’s been a while since I’ve driven a stick shift but it’s a highway…hardly much shifting to be done.
The boys are cool with it and I’m super cool with it so I get to cruise home while the spaniards take a little siesta. It’s only when we have to stop at tollbooths that I feel truly alive, having to shift down to a stop, and back up to 120km an hour. I’m not really a car person but I do love something about switching gears. If I ever own another car in my life, it will be a manual.
I pull over before we hit Athens so Joseba can take over and drive us through the insanity of this city. People drive like animals here and I don’t want to be responsible for their lives (or the insurance). The other night I literally watched a motorcycle t-bone a car when the driver tried to use his emergency break to make a fancy 180 flip into a parking spot, and failed. Idiot.
We make it home alive and I’m passed out before midnight.
Meteora and Mt. Olympus are well worth a visit when in Greece! The train is the cheaper option (if you book in advance), but I DO suggest renting a car for the freedom to move around whenever and wherever you want. Camping under a tree on a cliff helps save on accommodation costs too. Just sayin’.